After a heap of Republican gushing this morning over the success of Sarah Palin’s speech, conservative mastermind Karl Rove weighed in with some sobering news. From the DC Examiner:
“She had a test last night and she nailed it. But being the newest player on the stage, she will also be the most tested and the most judged on the stage. Everyone is going to ask: ‘When is she going to appear on a Sunday talk show program?’ ‘When is she doing to do an interview?’ ‘When is she going to give an unscripted speech?’ ‘When will she do a townhall meeting?’ ‘When will she answer questions on foreign policy?’ ‘How will she perform in a debate?’”
“The media is going to wonder, ‘How can we make this an easy storyline,’” he added, “And the easy storyline is, ‘Can she do it?’”
The Obama camp has already prepared its initial response. It unleashed Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius as a counterbalance to Palin. Sebelius is a well known, strong female presence in Middle American Democratic politics (though notably not Obama’s choice for VP). “I live in the American heartland, and have been a governor [here] for six years,” she said. “I don’t know any mayor in any small town in Kansas — and we have a lot of mayors of small towns — who hires a lobbyist and goes after earmarks the way Sarah Palin did.”
The Obama campaign used the conference call to rebut points of fact in Palin’s speech, particularly regarding Obama’s tax policies and legislative accomplishments. “There’s a disconnect between the way she positions herself as a small-town mayor … and an inside Washington strategy,” Sebelius added. “The kind of persona she is putting forward is very enticing, but I don’t think it matches with either of her positions.”
We’d say let the games begin, but they’ve clearly already begun.